HOW TO GET A GOOD NIGHT SLEEP?
Getting a good night’s sleep is such an important part of your health. But how does one get a good night’s sleep with all these distractions around you? Here are 10 ways to improve your sleep:
1. Reduce blue light in the evening – I love a good Netflix sesh after a long, stressful day but exposure to blue light from your smartphone, TV, and computer screen affects your circadian rhythm which can reduce melatonin and can keep you up at night. It is recommended to stop watching TV and turn off any bright lights at least 30 minutes (up to 2 hours!) before your scheduled bedtime.
2. Don’t eat late! – Eating late can negatively affect the quality of sleep and might keep you up later than intended. Consuming a large meal can lead to poor sleep and disrupt hormones like melatonin from functioning properly. Avoid large meals before bedtime, but a small snack a few hours before bed may help.
3. Try not to consume caffeine later in the day – Sorry caffeine lovers, but this one is for you. Caffeine can stay in your bloodstream for up to 8 hours, so drinking coffee after 2pm might affect your sleeping schedule. If you must, try drinking decaf.
4. Sleep aid supplements – Melatonin can be used to improve sleep quality and it helps people fall asleep faster. It can also be used for traveling to adjust the body’s circadian rhythm in a new time zone. Take 1-5mg of melatonin 30 to 60 minutes before bed. Another option is taking magnesium. According to the Sleep Foundation, magnesium helps the body relax and reduces stress which helps you sleep longer (Sleep Foundation, 2022).
5. Reduce nap time – According to studies, taking a nap for 30 minutes or less can help with brain function in the daytime. However, longer naps can negatively affect your sleep. To avoid longer nap times, set an alarm for 20 or 30 minutes.
6. Clear your mind – Relaxation techniques like breath-work exercises, meditation, listening to relaxing music, or reading a book before bed can improve sleep quality. YouTube and Spotify have guided meditations as short as 5 minutes!
7. Include physical activity in your routine – Regular physical activity and spending some time outside can promote better sleep. Going on a (short) walk around the neighborhood can also help with your overall health!
8. Take a relaxing bath or shower – Studies show that taking a relaxing bath or shower can help the overall sleep quality and help people fall asleep faster. To step it up, try adding relaxing essential oils like lavender or eucalyptus in the water for a spa-like vibe!
9. Create a restful environment – Getting a good night’s sleep especially on a hot summer night can be challenging. If you can, try to keep you room cool, dark, and quiet. Use blackout curtains to block out any light coming from the outside, a fan to keep the room cool, and earplugs (if you share a room with another person).
10. Stick to a sleeping schedule – Irregular sleeping patterns can disrupt your circadian rhythm and melatonin levels which can result in poor sleep quality. Try to have a consistent schedule of waking up and going to sleep, even on weekends.
If these tips don’t help, consult with your healthcare provider to rule out any sleeping disorders like insomnia or sleep apnea.
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